Ok, so this is written by a man for all of the women out there building a Network Marketing Business (hereon “NMB”) with an unsupportive spouse or partner!
Why am I qualified to write this? Because I was the unsupportive husband for such a long time. To be honest, my wife’s NMB worried me and it was weird!
I didn’t understand it and thought it would impact me as the main breadwinner (supposedly) of the family.
So I am going to cover off the three main things that stopped me getting on board and how you can help the male in your life move past them.
Now I come from a corporate background and my perception of what business and success looked like bore no resemblance to Network Marketing. I thought the people were too happy and that they must be fake. I felt that my Professional friends would mock me for being involved with a “Pyramid Scheme”. I also thought that it would impact my marriage in a negative way.
So let’s break these fears down one by one, as they all somehow are going to be something your spouse is feeling!
The Problem -This is Weird!
One of my main challenges was how different Network Marketing was, in comparison to traditional business models. Now success in business always follows similar principles, no matter how the product or service is marketed. But the underlying attitude is so different. In Network Marketing, people are inspired to “work on themselves”, whereas I was always trying to improve my knowledge and skillset, so I could get a better job. It wasn’t so much about how I felt about my improved skills, but more about what it would look like on my resume!
My first few big events saw pumped up, energetic, positive and “huggy” people. I couldn’t handle it! A firm handshake was what I knew, not hugging! It felt so weird and unprofessional. Everyone was just too damn happy!
I didn’t get it and I thought, these people obviously couldn’t be successful in the real world, so they created an alternative dimension to exist in!!!
I didn’t understand the positivity because I didn’t understand how the business model worked. In normal business we get paid to fill a role or do a job. Our bosses or company have leverage over us and we have fear of not doing our job, because we won’t get paid, or worse still…get fired. In Network marketing they have no leverage! They don’t pay you; you pay yourself through the commissions you earn. Your business partners cannot force you to share the product or attract other business partners in.
Until I understood that the only leverage we have in Network Marketing is helping people to achieve their goals, I never got the positivity, emphasis on personal development or the super close personal relationships.
Help your spouse to understand the fact, that Network Marketing requires total investment in the results of your team for you to get results…then he will feel more comfortable. When he understands that you cannot motivate your team by force and that it takes a different approach then he will begin to see the difference. It may take a while, but eventually he will begin to see that this “win-win-win” approach to business is actually a better model.
The Problem – It is a Scam/Pyramid Scheme
This is a big fear for a lot of people, not just men. The legitimacy of the Network Marketing business model is a source of a lot of, generally uninformed, debate. The lack of understanding of the model and the comparison to horror stories from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s has contributed to a cynicism towards this model.
A lot of spouses can get protective of their partner and don’t want them to get hurt, or ridiculed for doing Network Marketing. Some men are scared of the backlash to them from their partner’s involvement and are worried about their and your reputation.
Knowledge! Men like to understand things and when they do they are happy to defend it. Arm your man with correct information about the Network Marketing Industry and your Company. I remember learning the difference between a Pyramid/Ponzi scheme and a legitimate Network Marketing Company. This totally changed my opinion. I became a student of the industry and equipped myself with knowledge which helped me to be comfortable about it.
A good book for guys is Go Pro by Eric Worre. His no nonsense approach to making Network Marketing a profession, really resonated with me. It helped me to see that this was a legitimate business model and one that is respected by great business leaders the world over. Even Warren Buffett owns a few Network Marketing Companies. Good Enough for Warren, good enough for me!
There is a lot of great stuff on Youtube about “why network marketing” etc. Knowledge is power for you and your spouse!
The Problem – The Company
Let’s be honest a lot of Network Marketing Companies have a bad name and some rightly so. A lot are opportunity driven, with spurious products that distributors are taught “it’s not about the product”, high failure rates and questionable management teams.
If your fella googles Network Marketing, he will undoubtedly come across the war stories of lost investments, dodgy management, losing friends, pushy selling and needing to buy a lot of product each month to qualify for commissions.
Network Marketing companies have a similar failure rate to other businesses and most don’t last the first 1-3 years. Unfortunately people are more emotional when a network marketing business fails and it’s about all these “mum’s and dads who lost their money”.
There are some good companies, a few really great companies and unfortunately a lot of bad companies!
Please ladies do yourself and your man a favour and pick a good company to partner with. It doesn’t matter how good you are, a bad company will always be a bad company. Unfortunately bad companies are cult-like, because they need hype and total distributor loyalty, to distract other’s from the fact that they are a bad company.
So here are my 6 things that your Network Marketing Company must have, to ensure the best possible chance for your success and also the support of your spouse:
1) Totally product driven. If customers don’t want it, then don’t do it. An opportunity led company will mean lower customer rates, poor retention and upset distributors. Try to find a company where there are a lot more customers using the product or service, than people doing the business.
2) A solid Management Team. All successful companies have amazing management teams and your Network Marketing Company should be no different. Are they credible, qualified and good people? Be careful and selective who you partner with.
3) A wholesale model. A lot of companies require you to purchase the product and then retail to your customers, or customers pay a higher price. Great Network marketing Companies use a wholesale model whereby a customer can buy the product for the same price that you do and get it shipped direct to them – with absolutely no obligations or minimum spend. Customer flexibility is an absolute must.
4) Customer not distributor focused. Cars, big pretend cheques on stage blah, blah, blah. They are good for hype, but fundamentally if you want financial freedom and a stable business, you need a lot of really happy and well taken care of customers. Customer Loyalty programs, product promotions, free products and other things that keep your customers happy are more important than a “BMW bonus” for you.
5) A good Compensation Plan. You can have an amazing product but if the Compensation Plan is complicated and it is hard to share with others, then it will make it that little bit harder to succeed.
6) No significant financial obligations or minimum business partner recruitment requirements that negatively impact your business. When you are working, you want to be earning. But if for any reason you need to take a step back in your business and you can’t do the work, you don’t want to be burdened with unnecessarily high overheads or recruitment requirements. This pressure is what makes most people unsuccessful in Network Marketing, as it causes distributors to put unnecessary pressure and strain on relationships and finances. The purpose of any great business is to always build a stable long term pipeline, that builds authentic leadership and fills a need in the market place.
In Network Marketing like in any industry, not all Companies are created equal. The more reputable and solid the Company is, the easier it will be for your significant other to get on board.